“ZAHA HADID, GROUNDBREAKING ARCHITECT, DIES…”
Sad, because the only real ground breaking she’d ever accomplish will be for her casket, her litany of finished projects notwithstanding. In our school there were a handful of famous brand-name architects that were highly influential amongst the “intellectual” students and professors. Hadid of course; Koolhaas and Tschumi had status as design gods.
A few of us that felt strongly that Architecture had gone off into the twilight zone. We had Sterling and the PoMo crowd making cartoons and visual puns, we had Hadid and her ilk rabidly avoiding aesthetic merit and any sense of scalar dialogue, and we had brutal mediocrities like Philip Johnson desperately trying to play catch-up whilst hogging the magazines. (Don’t get me started on Moshe Safdie.) This crowd could talk a great design, but in the end they were like the clowns writing an “artist’s statement” or the chef waxing elegant about his anchovy swirl parfait.
The better design students (we knew who they were) were rather more attuned to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, and to marvelous contemporary artists such as Frank Gehry. Yours truly’s heroes?… Saarinen, Peter Behrens and Christopher Wren. (And you, Gus Da Roza!)
Beauty is where one finds it.